#149: Failure to Launch

failure to launchThis week on CIO Playbook with Jeffrey Hurley, I am Failure to Launch and how to overcome it. Failure to launch is the gap that is preventing you from achieving your dreams and desires. As you move forward in life there are roadblocks and diversions that take us away from our dreams. I want to give you a few ways to find your dreams again and return to the pursuit of them. Each of us is equipped to accomplish great things and overcoming the failure to launch will get us that much more closer to accomplishing our individual greatness.

Failure to Launch

Failure to launch is of defined as lacking the skills to accomplish what you want. Being out of sync with your peers or family members. Thus when someone is in the midst of a failure to launch they often find themselves seeking and avoiding the risk of failure. How are they doing this? By avoiding the consequences of their behaviors by choosing “not to behave”.

For this dialog I am going to use the following definition for failure to launch:

Deal with reality

Start with identifying your skill gaps that are preventing you from moving toward your dreams and aspirations. What capabilities do you have and what do you need to work on to get you to where you want to be.

Start with improving your presentation skills by joining Toastmasters International. This organization will allow you to practice your leadership and presentation skills in a risk free environment.

Then learn to manage your money. Set a budget and start saving funds. No matter where you are on the income scale you should be able to change your lifestyle and save money. It is impossible to go after your dreams if you can’t budget. Learn to plan by setting aside small sums of money each month to build a war chest for the future. this will involve learning to avoid instant gratification when the desire hits you.

Establish Yourself

Now that you have identified your skill gaps it is time to find ways to address them. Start by taking classes. This can be through your local university or via online course ware. These classes will give you a regular set of deadlines through the coursework that will enable you to build positive work habits. Another capability that will enable you to accomplish your goals.

Then start working on side projects. These side projects can be through your current job or via part-time work. I would suggest that you initially look into doing volunteer work for a local charity, volunteering in the area you are looking to improve your skills in. The nice thing about being a volunteer is you won’t get fired and because you are not being paid you can quit at anytime you decide to pursue another strategy.

These strategies will help you define your clear direction. Finding out where you want to go is what is another step toward beating failure to launch.

Address the Psychology

Talking anything new will create anxiety. It is in our nature to be cautious when exploring new things, this is part of our evolutionary make-up from a time when throwing caution to the wind often resulted in being eaten by a lion. Mild forms of anxiety are easy to address by taking action. However, greater forms of anxiety may require more effort and outside help.

Another challenge is the natural desire to procrastinate. We all procrastinate and the best way to overcome procrastination is through action. By just starting you will find that procrastination will fall away as you begin to get into the flow.

The most important skill to develop is “grit”. Grit is the consistent and persistent working toward your goals. Even in the face of discouragement it is vital that you keep moving forward. Everything worthwhile will have setbacks and bad days. Being able to overcome these and continue to make progress will spell the difference between failure to launch and achieving your desires.

Don’t be afraid of confrontation. Confrontation is very uncomfortable and I recognize this, however, many things we seek do require us to take the risk of confrontation. Now there is very few things in the modern world that stand between us and our goals that we should be afraid of. So, step into your fear and face it head on.

Set Incremental Goals

The best way to start moving in the direction of your dreams and objectives is to set small goals. Look at it as beginning a weight lifting regimen. Before you can lift heavy weights you have to start with lighter weights. The same goes for setting and achieving goals and developing your “grit” muscles.

Start by setting a simple saving goals. Put aside a few dollars every week into a savings account. This could be as simple as bringing your lunch to work and putting the equivalent of what you spent on lunch into your savings account each week. Set a goal to work out; again this could be as easy as setting aside time to get up from your desk and taking a walk around the office floor. Then building up from there

Take Time to Dream

One of the biggest challenges contributing to a failure to launch is the lack of a dream to provide the motivation. Set up a dream board somewhere in your home where you will see it every day. Populate the dream board with articles and pictures of things you want from homes, cars, vacations, hip clothing, and so on.

Get out and tour model homes and test drive cars to get a feeling of what you are after and what you plan to reward yourself with upon accomplishing your goals. Spend a few minutes each day with no electronic devices, giving your mind time to unwind. I would suggest getting up early and watching the sun rise. Begin to appreciate the things in your life and let the creative portion of your mind free. By doing this you can enable your “launch muscles’ and beat the failure to launch.

What’s Next

It is okay to be scared or uncertain about the future. Many people never really figure out what they want and wander through life guided by what happens to them rather than shaping their future with goals. Face life’s challenges head on and take action. You will discover who you are and what you can be. Overcome failure to launch and become happier and more successful.


Photo Credit:¬†Jurvetson, Steve. “Rocket Firefall.” Flickr. Yahoo!, 3 Dec. 2011. Web. 7 June 2015.

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